My Dad’s First Personal Training Encounter

“You don’t need a rep counter or a spotter. You need someone to help you to get your ass moving.”

My parents have been very healthy all their lives with no major illnesses or injuries. The worse accident my dad ever got was a minor fracture in his left shoulder blade from slipping on a wet floor at work in 2003. They never have any weight problems or have an issue with food since they used to run a restaurant business in San Diego, California. Since they are already healthy, they see little value in joining a gym.

Homemade Chinese breakfast

Recently, they have been taking care of their health better with regular exercise at home, eating more veggies and rice, and drinking bitter-sweet-smelling Chinese herbal concoctions that even I don’t know what they are.

Your Chinese herbalist looks pretty darn good for a 70-year-old woman.

One day, in January 2006, my dad and I went to get new tires for his car at Discount Tires in Poway. While the car was getting worked on, my dad saw a corporate fitness gym (name not revealed) across the street. He knew that I have my own business in fitness training and has never been to a gym before. So he was curious about it and asked if we could go check it out. Since I taught hip-hop dance there, I knew a few guys who worked in the sales department who would let me give my dad a tour without going through their cookie-cutter process.

We entered and talked with the OM (operations manager) who kindly allowed my dad to wander around after he signed a liability waiver in case my dad trips over a wandering dumbbell . The indoor pool was to the right, and my dad stood by the window, checking out the water aerobics class in progress.  While he’s there with his hands behind his back, I walked over to the general manager and chatted with him briefly. Three minutes later, I found my dad over by the free-weight section, watching a young, female personal trainer working with a middle-age, Hispanic man.

My mouth almost dropped, and I could feel my genitals slowly getting sucked up into my body cavity.

She may have a fit body, but she might mess up your back.

The trainer stood on top of her client’s feet with her arms cross over her skinny chest as he was struggling with sit-ups with his arms across his chest with his legs bent. She stared at him like a vulture wondering when he will expire so she can feed, her head hanging down toward her arms.

My dad looked at me and asked, “Is this what you do?”

How was I going to explain it to him? In his head, he had always thought that personal trainers were more like gymnastic or sports coaches except they had bigger muscles that match their egos and worked in a gym with a bunch of techno-medieval torture devices. This example he was witnessing further confirmed his attitude.

I simply replied, “No, Dad. I would never to that to any clients.”

Dad never signed up or took interest in a gym again. He and my mom are better off doing what they’ve been doing all their lives: staying active and eating healthy every day. Can’t get any simpler than that.


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